Native American Employment and Training Council Contact Information

RegionCouncil Member 
Term: March 2024 to March 2026
Region 3

Kathy Atkins 

(New Appointment) 

Florida Governors Council on Indian Affairs, Inc.

1111 East Tennessee Street

Tallahassee, FL 32808

Ms. Atkins has over 27 years of experience at the executive level in Native American community engagement and program management. As the Executive Director of the Florida Governor's Council on Indian Affairs, she has coordinated activities related to community engagement, grant writing, staff management, and strategic planning. Her career also includes contributions as the Program Director at the American Indian Center in Arkansas and Tennessee, and as a leader in various Native American employment and training initiatives. Ms. Atkins' educational background includes a Business Management Degree from Niagara County Community College. Her dedication to the Native American community is evident in her work in program leadership, compliance, and case management, aimed at improving the lives and career opportunities for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians in Florida and Georgia. 
Region 4

Ms. Lora Ann Chaisson

Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana, Inc.

2375 Highway 665

Montegut, LA  70377


Lora Ann Chaisson serves as a representative of Region IV. She is a member of the United Houma Nation, and has served on the Houma Tribal Council since 2005. Ms. Chaisson was recently elected to serve as the alternate Area Vice-President for the National Congress of American Indians. Ms. Chaisson is currently employed with Tribal Solutions Group as an Associate since February 2019. She has worked with the Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana/Institute for Indian Development for 25 years. She serves as a representative for Native Americans on a regional workforce investment board. Ms. Chaisson also serves as a member of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Previously she served as Program Director for the Institute for Indian Development’s Domestic Violence Program, where she assisted Native Americans including children who are survivors of family, Lora Ann Chaissonserves as a representative of Region IV. She is a member of the United Houma Nation, and has served on the Houma Tribal Council since 2005. Ms. Chaisson was recently elected to serve as the alternate Area Vice-President for the National Congress of American Indians. Ms. Chaisson is currently employed with Tribal Solutions Group as an Associate since February 2019. She has worked with the Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana/Institute for Indian Development for 25 years. She serves as a representative for Native Americans on a regional workforce investment board. Ms. Chaisson also serves as a member of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Previously she served as Program Director for the Institute for Indian Development’s Domestic Violence Program, where she assisted Native Americans including children who are survivors of family, 
Region 4

Ms. Robin Counce

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

P.O. Box 1210

Durant, OK  74701


Robin Counce serves as a representative of Region IV. She has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and two master’s degrees in Education Administration and Native American Leadership, Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She is a licensed Oklahoma teacher and holds credentials as a certified Career Development Facilitator and Career Development Facilitator Instructor. Ms. Counce is the Senior Director of Education Careers for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, where she oversees the Career Development, Adult Education, Vocational Development, Vocational Rehabilitation, and PL 102-477 Employment Training Services programs. She has over 30 years’ experience in education, workforce development and economic development. Ms. Counce serves and has served on numerous boards and committees such as the Oklahoma’s Cross-Agency/Cabinet Workforce Streamlining Resources subcommittee, Kiamichi Technology Business Education Committee, Oklahoma JumpStart Coalition, Oklahoma’s Council on Economic Education, Southern Workforce Investment Board’s 8th grade Career Discovery. She has presented to Oklahoma’s Senate Education committee on tribal Career Development program services. She has worked with teams of state-wide business and industry representatives, community college, technology center and university faculty members to develop a series of comprehensive business, marketing, information technology, and entrepreneurship career pathways for both secondary and post-secondary students as well as assists in the development and implementation of a “school-to-career” transition system. She has obtained over $15,000,000 in competitive grants to fund workforce training related programs for Native Americans.
Other Disciplines

Ms. Patricia Hibbeler

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

P.O. Box 278

Pablo, MT  59855


Patricia K. Hibbeler, ABD, MA serves as a representative of Other Disciplines. She was the former Chief Executive Officer of the Phoenix Indian Center, Inc., an urban Indian organization with a 64-year history and the first urban-based Indian center in the Nation, where she provided direction in operations and evaluation, specializing in workforce development, education, social services, and language and culture revitalization. Ms. Hibbeler’s leadership includes dropout prevention and school-based substance abuse prevention. Ms. Hibbeler also serves as President of the National Urban Indian Families Coalition, Trustee and Audit Committee Chair for the Heard Museum, Arizona State University President Crowe’s Minority Advisory Committee, Maricopa County community College District Chancellor’s Committee, Phoenix College President’s Advisory Committee, Still University Advisory Committee, Chairperson of ADU Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center’s Community Advisory Committee, Maricopa County Board, and Arizona State School Superintendent’s Indian Education Advisory Board.  She received the President’s Award from Arizona State University during her tenure there for program evaluation, design and implementation. She was recently named as an Outstanding Woman in Business by the Phoenix Business Journal. Ms. Hibbeler has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, University of Montana; Special Administrative Certificate in Bilingual Education, Montana State University; and a Master of Arts degree in Education from Hastings College.  She is a Ph.D., candidate in Educational Leadership at Arizona State University.
Region 5

Mr. Robert Houle

Bad River Health and Wellness Center

53585 Nokomis Road

Ashland , WI  54806


 Robert Houle serves as a representative of Region V. He is the Director of the Bad River Tribe’s Health and Wellness Center in Ashland, Wisconsin. He has a bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin, Superior. Mr. Houle is a leader in health care with over 20 years of health care experience primarily in tribal health organizations. Mr. Houle has experience in both tribal and non­tribal health care for non-profit and profit organizations in a variety of areas. His areas of expertise encompasses pharmacy, optical, dental, behavioral health, tribal clinics and hospital operations. This also includes rural and sub-regional native village clinics, public health, fast track emergency response, and specialty health care services such as diabetes, obstetrics (OB), long-term care (geriatrics), material child health, nutritional, cancer/infusion treatment and prevention. He has also covered prevention/disease prevention areas such as tobacco sensation, Hospital Incident Command System, native men's wellness, and traditional healing.
Region 3

Ms. Candace Lowry

North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs

116 West Jones Street

Raleigh , NC  27699



Candace Lowry,  BS, MPA, CDF serves as a representative of Region III. She has over 15 years of experience in workforce development training. Ms. Lowry is currently the Director of the American Indian Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program for the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs (NCCIA). In this position she manages the agency’s WIOA Section 166 program and serves on the following committees: Employment and Training Committees for the Commission of Indian Affairs; Recognition Committee for the Commission of Indian Affairs, and on the Commission Sub-Committee Recognition Working Group. Ms. Lowry also serves as the Deputy Secretary’s Designee for the NCWorks Commission committee. She also has over 13 years as a human resource and development instructor at Robeson Community College. Ms. Lowry has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching with emphasis on Secondary Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Ms. Lowry also obtained her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2014. Ms. Lowry is currently in the 14-month Certified Public Managers course 2021-2022 and has completed the Advanced Skills for Managers courses 2020-2021.

Region 6


Ms. Holly Morales

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.

3600 San Jeronimo Drive

Anchorage , AK  99508


Holly Morales (Alaska) serves as the Alaska representative for Region VI. She is of Yup'ik Eskimo and Irish descent and is currently the Deputy Operating Officer at Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), where she previously served as Senior Director of Employment and Training Services Department (ETSD). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Organization Management from Alaska Pacific University. She has managed multiple programs, including employment and training services operated under PL 102-477 which includes programs such as, Child Care Assistance Program, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and BIA General Assistance, which serves over 3,000 participants per year. Ms. Morales has worked at Cook Inlet Tribal Council for over 24 years in workforce development. She serves as co-chair of the Tribal 102-477 Workgroup and on the Alaska Coalition on Employment and Training executive committees and has a broad understanding of Native issues in the context of the state, and of workforce development on a national scale. Ms. Morales has a keen understanding of Alaska Native and tribal issues, and her ability to bring forward the program level impact of decisions is one of her strongest attributes. Ms. Morales has worked in both state and national venues to share CITC's innovative multi­generational and participant-focused programming, including the Aspen Institute. She is firmly dedicated to the principle that Alaskans should have opportunities to work in their own communities, and that this goal is good for the people and good for the local economy. Her vision to build connections to place Alaskans in good jobs has been her driving force throughout her professional and service life, both to assist unemployed Alaskans to train for jobs, and to assist workers who want to upgrade their skills in a changing work environment, for youth and adults.

Region 4


Mr. Erwin Pahmahmie, Jr.

Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma

P.O. Box 130

Concho, OK  73022



Erwin Pahmahmie, Jr., serves as the Oklahoma representative for Region IV. He is the Executive Director of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma’s Employment and Training Program. He assisted in creating the Tribe’s workforce program by integrating the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Job Placement and Training Program, Department of Health and Human Services’ Native Employment Works and the Equip Employment Opportunity Commission’s Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) programs. He served as the key spokesperson for the Tribe in the creation of their internal Department of Labor program in August 2018. In his role as Director, he ensures that the TERO ordinances address construction contractor compliance and apprenticeship training for construction projects on or near tribal lands.
Region 5

Ms. Angel Peer

American Indian Council Inc.

310 Armour Road, Suite 205

Kansas City , MO  64116

816-471-4898 ext. 404


Angel Peer serves as a representative for Region V. She is a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska), in North Kansas City Missouri and currently works at the American Indian Council (AIC) where she has been involved with both on- and off-reservation American Indian communities. Prior to working for AIC, Ms. Peer worked as a Community Outreach Coordinator at the Center for American Indian Community Health at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) and the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance. While working at KUMC, she worked on numerous research projects, all focused on the American Indian community. Ms. Peer plays a key role in the day-to-day operation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Native American Employment and Training Grant. Working closely with the Executive Director, to ensure that the employment and training program meets the needs of all clients in the respective counties located in multiple states. Ms. Peer maintains a comprehensive knowledge of the WIOA Native American Employment and Training 166 program, and she has been instrumental in providing training to the entire AIC team.
Region 6

Mr. Joseph Quintana

Native Development Network, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA



Joseph Quintana serves as a representative for Region VI. He is a member of the Kewa Pueblo. Mr. Quintana is a mayoral appointee (Commissioner) to the city/county of Los Angeles’s Native American Indian Commission and recently assisted with the recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day, which replaced Columbus Day in one of the largest cities in the world. As the Development Director of UAII, he provides comprehensive and culturally-relevant services for physical and mental health, substance abuse and prevention, family and youth planning and an onsite continuation school for Native Americans. Mr. Quintana has been involved in efforts including, but not limited to, diversification of funding sources to include $4.5 million in new awards, improving the health outcomes of community members and ensuring that education and training will increase the economic health of Native people in Los Angeles. Mr. Quintana has served Indian Country for over 15 years, in various positions including hospital administration, economic development, marketing, and community outreach. Mr. Quintana has served on the Three Native Nations: The Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Kewa Pueblo. He has also managed a non-profit publication with subscriptions across the United States, Germany, France, and Australia. Mr. Quintana has a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts/Social Studies from Haskell University in Lawrence, Kansas.
Region 6

Mr. Gary Rickard

6914 Haas Road

Anderson , CA  96007


Gary Rickard serves as a representative for Region VI. He is a member of the Wintu Tribe of Northern California and serves as the Vice-Chairman. Mr. Rickard previously served as the NAETC Chair. He has worked in the field of employment and training services for more than 35 years. He has experience at the tribal, county, state and federal levels with a wide variety of employment and training programs including but not limited to: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, GAIN, CalWORKS, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  He has developed many innovative practices in assisting and preparing individuals, especially the “hard to serve” for entry into employment. Mr. Rickard has served as a presenter at the national level for many years in workshops such as Job Readiness, Case Management Levels I and II, Job Development, Worksite Development and Customer Motivation. Over the past 20 years, he has assisted numerous tribal employment and training programs to improve their service delivery. Mr. Rickard served on the Shasta College Economic Opportunities Advisory Council and is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc. He has served as a keynote speaker for organizations such as Martin Luther King Day, Citizens Against Racial Violence, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Indian Education Conference. He is also a professional Trainer/Consultant and has a degree in Sociology from Shasta College; certification as a trainer from the University of California, Berkeley; and course completion in social welfare from the University of California, Davis Community Extension Program.
Other Disciplines

Ms. Kay Seven

Nez Perce Tribe-Education Dept. Career Center Program

P.O. Box 365

Lapwai , ID  83540


Kay Seven serves as an representative of Other Disciplines. She is the Adult Education Director for the Nez Perce Tribe’s Education Department and has thirty-six years of experience in working with federal Indian employment and training programs. Ms. Seven currently serves on the P.L. 102-477 Tribal Work Group Executive Committee addressing federal-tribal partnership relations and recently served three years as the Vice-Chairman of the National Indian and Native Employment, Training and Public Law 102-477 Conference. She also serves on a regional workforce development committee of the local economic development agency for north central Idaho and previously served on the NAETC from 2002-2008. She has served on the Idaho Rural Partnership from 2002-2007, Idaho’s North Central Idaho Private Industry Council from 1984-1998 during the legislation of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA); and served on numerous advisory boards with Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho.
Region 4

Mr. Darius Lee Smith

(New Appointment)

National Indian Youth Council, Inc.

6201 Uptown Blvd, NW, Suite 203

Albuquerque, NM 87110

Darius Lee Smith serves as a Region IV Representative. He is the Executive Director National Indian Youth Council, Inc. (NIYC) Native Professional Advancement Center (NPAC), and has over 18 years working to improve the lives of Native Americans. As the Executive Director of the National Indian Youth Council Inc., he oversees programs aimed at employment and training for Native American communities, working closely with a Board of Directors. His experience includes roles as Director at the Denver Anti-Discrimination Office, staff liaison for the Denver American Indian & African American Commissions, and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Colorado Denver, where he taught Indigenous Studies. Mr. Smith has promoted civil rights and educational development within Native American communities. His educational background includes a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Azusa Pacific University. Additionally, he has actively participated in various community activities and memberships, demonstrating a strong commitment to social and cultural enhancement.
Other Disciplines

Mr. Omer Tamir

(New Appointment)

Texas Native Health

1283 Record Crossing Road

Dallas, TX 75235

Omer Tamir serves as an Other Disciplines representative. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas, where he oversees the functions and quality of programs of the organization including primary care, dental, pharmacy, substance use/behavioral health, and employment & training. He is the Director, Dallas Urban Indian Health Center. Mr. Tamir obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology from Western Colorado University and a Master's Degree in Public Management with a focus in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University. Over the span of 17 years, Mr. Tamir has developed an engaging leadership approach through his work in a variety of healthcare areas, including primary care, physical/occupational therapy, and behavioral health. He has diverse experience in outpatient, inpatient, and home health settings. He also has a Home Health Administrator Certification and certifications from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management -100 through 800 First Aid and CPR. He is originally from Coppell, Texas. Mr. Tamir previously served as the Public Health Director for Bent County, Colorado, where he was responsible for multiple agency oversight. He has served on multiple boards such as the Southeast Regional Healthcare Coalition, CALPHO Board of Directors, CALPHO policy committee, Bent County Early Learning Center, SE Nurse Family Partnership, and the OJC Health Navigator Program Advisory Board.
Regions 1 & 2

Mr. Darrell Waldron

Rhode Island Indian Council, Inc.

807 Broad Street

Providence , RI  02907


Darrell Waldron serves as the representative of Regions I and II. He is the Chief of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe and a direct descendant of the Narragansett tribe. He is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Indian Council (RIIC). He has served multiple terms on the Native American Employment and Training Council (NAETC). Under his leadership, the RIIC has serviced thousands of tribal members with career training and placement and resulted in over 15,000 associates and bachelor’s degrees for low-income Native Americans. Mr. Waldron has also served on the Rhode Island Governor’s Board; and serves as the Vice President of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority Board, an appointed position by the Governor and the State Legislature of Rhode Island. He was also a member of the Providence Police Advisory Board; Omni Housing Development Corporation Board; Chair of Harbor Heritage Museum Board of Directors; American Indian Health Care Association Steering Committee; Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program Advisory Council; Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island Board and the Providence/Cranston Workforce Investment Board. Darrell has received several congressional citations from Federal Representatives and Senators in Rhode Island and Advisory Board Member of the US Civil Rights Commission for Rhode Island. Darrell has served on the White House Urban Indian Policy Coalition, assisting the Office of Management and Budget policy design for urban-based Indian communities in the United States.
Regions 6

Orlanda Wauneka 

1 Tribal Hill Drive 

Window Rock

Arizona 86515 

(928) 871-7721

Ms. Wauneka leads the Navajo Nation workforce development program. Under her leadership, the Navajo Department of Workforce Development has effectively utilized Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act ("WIOA"J funding to create and implement programs that have substantially benefited the Navajo community. The Navajo Department of Workforce Development has the distinction of being the largest Native American grantee of WIOA funding and services in the United States.

Ms. Wauneka has a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Native workforce, especially in the areas of secondary and post-secondary education, vocational training, and veteran services, has been instrumental in tailoring initiatives that foster economic development and job sector growth within the Navajo Nation.

Region 6

Ms. Winona Whitman

Alu Like, Inc.

2969 Mapunapuna Place, Suite 200

Honolulu , HI  96819



Winona Whitman (Hawaii) serves as the representative for Hawaii in Region VI. She has been a dedicated member of the Council since its inception in July 1993. She has also served as a member of the Council's predecessor and the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Native American Programs' Advisory Committee since its inception in October 1989. Ms. Whitman serves as the Statewide Director of Employment and Training on the island of Hawaii. She previously served as the administrator of the former JTPA grant for Alu Like, Inc. Ms. Whitman has a master’s and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education from Morehead State University (Kentucky); additionally, she has extensive experience in the field of vocational education, both in curriculum development and classroom instruction.
Other Disciplines

Mr. Jacob Wojnas

Te wá tha hón:ni Corporation

412 State Route 37

Akwesasne , NY  13655

Jacob Wojnas serves as a representative of Other Disciplines.  He is a Board Member and the Vice Chairman of the Te wa tha hon:ni Corporation, a Section 17 corporation chartered by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (P.L. 102-477 program participant).  Te wa tha hon:ni operates a business portfolio, supporting the needs of Akwesasne through commercial services, jobs, and tribal budget distributions.  Te wa tha hon:ni owns and oversees Mohawk Networks-a Tribal 8(a) firm and one of the few tribally-owned broadband providers.  His professional experience includes investing on behalf of a DC-area medical research foundation, EQT Partners, and as a banker at J.P. Morgan.  Mr. Wojnas brings technical insight on business development, community investment, financial stewardship, and corporate governance.  Mr. Wojnas also services as a volunteer for the Seva Foundation, which provides low-cost eye care through sustainable local initiatives and job training programs.  He has additionally served on advisory boards for New York Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio.  Mr. Wojnas is a graduate of Dartmouth College.